Post # 1
My very best friend is marrying his partner and they have decided on a destination weding in Cancun for May 2015. He is feeling a bit overwhelmed as he doesn’t know where to start to plan a destination wedding. He asked me if I could help him out bc I can actually understand the emails (mostly they’re translated into english via google-translate or something similar so bc I speak Spanish I can communicate more easily). I juts got married myself 3 months ago after only a 5 month engagement and put together a pretty nice wedding (if I do say so myself (http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/hello-again-weddingbee-brief-update-on-the-wedding-of-my-dreams#axzz2rvK8DZ00). I had so much fun planning mine and they have asked me to help out to get them started with planning, any tips or advice? Also, can we keep it friendly, I know that I have to watch it and not try and take over, be aware of setting limits, step out of planning when they are ready etc etc etc. It’s just that right now I am not working and obvi have more time to gather information for them,
Sooo how do you go about choosing a place?
Do you recommend working with a planner or travel agent?
What kind of budget do ou think is necessary? I’ve heard destination weddings can cost the sme as regular weddings…
My friend is thinking they’ll have 80 guests, that seems high to me considering the travel. Is it?
Any other tips would be super welcome!
Also, it is a same-sex wedding but no, they are not looking to theme it to be “gay” with rainbows everywhere. They’re a couple who is in love and just wants to make it official!
Thanks so much!!!
Post # 3
bUmp! (did i post this in the right thread?)
Post # 4
@HourThyme: we got engaged in Cancun at Moon Palace! FI worked with the wedding coordinator to plan the engagement (it was pretty involved, lol) and she was great! My friend who speaks Spanish helped FI and pretended to be a wedding planner, but the resort wedding planner spoke English anyway. It was the a REALLY nice all-inclusive resort and we had a lot of resort credits to use on extras ans the service was top-notch. We would have loved to get married there, but my grandmother can’t fly. We may go back for our honeymoon though! GL- sounds like it will be a beautiful wedding!
Post # 5
The Palace Resorts are awesome. We’ve been to several, including Moon Palace. We haven’t had a wedding there, but would love to have a vow renewal there.
Post # 6
We went to El Dorado Royale for our honeymoon and they had 3 or 4 weddings there throughout the week of our stay. It was a fantastic place as they are a gourmet inclusive, which means all of the food was sit down at a restaurant. We used a travel agent as he got us several free upgrades plus matched online prices. He works with someone at the hotel to plan everything, get your questions answered etc. While there you also get a concierge, who helps you plan everything and make reservations at restaurants or at the spa or plans your beachfront candlelight dinner.
Here is a link to the website….PM me if you want more info.
Post # 7
@HourThyme: i would start by researching which resorts are gay-friendly. some resorts in the riviera maya even advertise that they are for gay couples, for example the “adonis tulum riviera maya gay resort”. btw, they have wedding services there too.
then i would narrow the search by location, ammenities, price and services available. i would also confirm that they offer same sex marriages. there are so many amazing resorts there.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2015 - Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana
I am planning a Destination Wedding for April 2015 Punta Cana not Mexico but some of my info might be useful because im in the thick of it too!
It was really difficult for us to pick a place. I started by deciding on EXACTLY where I wanted to travel to (Punta Cana, DR) from there I went and researched th top 20 Resorts for 2013 in my destination. Then I made a list. A list in order of importance of what we needed for us and for our guests (are children welcome, all inclusive?, excurions, amentities, prices, packages, etc) from there i narrowed it down we need family friendly and all inclusive, this knocked out a lot of places. I maybe had 10 left to choose from. sooooo then it was all about what we liked and the little extras. For us we chose Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
The Hard Rock (as well as most resorts) offer a Wedding Coordinator. This is what we are using. My brothers girlfriend is a wedding planner but shes really only looking at contracts for me. For the most part I cant imagine needing any more help. The packages and the brochures you will recieve are so inclusive that its really like ordering off a menu at the drive thru! that doesn’t make this sound pretty but I actually LOVE that I dont have to make 100000 decisions. I just want to get married and have a great time. I have heard that some people use a wedding planner online, again I cant imagine it necessary unless you are planning your own wedding meaning you are not using any of the resorts resources.
In my area the average cost of a nice wedding for 150 people is roughly 30k. We really didnt want to spend that much on a day. Just not for us. You can certainly plan a DW that costs the same you can also plan a wedding that costs more or less than a traditional wedding as well. I’m assuming that with 80 guests that the couple will not be paying for the guests. So that cuts a lot of costs. Choosing all inclusive resort makes a big difference. Also keep in mind that asking people to take a vacation is expensive so a lot of people may opt NOT to attend. I view it like this, people who dont want to go on a vacation wont come. the people who want to go on vacation will. The cost for guests is comparable to a regular vacation. also guests have the choice of staying however long they want(some of our guests are only staying 3 nights)
As far as 80 guests…are they inviting 80 or they think 80 will come. When planning a destination I found I could guess who would come and who would not. there are always those people you have to invite that you know really just wont show. for us we started at 200, then 120, then 80, 60, and now we are sending 20 invites which would be inviting 50 people but we KNOW we are realistically looking at 30 guests if that many. Depending on your package the # of guests doesnt mean much. for us its really only about $20 per extra person over 30. Also the more rooms and nights booked the more we qualify for as far as FREE private events and FREE nights etc
I know someone mentioned that the same sex thing might be a problem. I think you shoudl definatly mention it, BUT I know we are doing a Symbolic Ceremony so its not a legal binding marraige, its not performed by any kind of official in fact we are thinking about having a family member “marry” us. We will be legally married before we head off to Punta Cana. This saves us some fees, and some translated docs, and all sorts of rules and timelines. its just easier.
Happy Wedding Planning!
Post # 9
I’m planning a DW in Punta Cana, too. I looked all over the Caribbean before settling on the Jellyfish restaurant. Then I picked a resort based on the group rate I could get and that our was child friendly. I have been working with a travel agent who is currently getting married at her own DW in Jamaica. I’d recommend her. Cherina Shaw of boho chic travel.
The budget really ranges based on what they want and how many people they choose. Yes, it could be just as costly as a US wedding. Mine will likely be $15-20k, not including travel costs, and I’m anticipating 35-50 guests. Food and alcohol is normally not included for a wedding despite it being AI if you want a private dinner.
I recommend starting with trip advisor and a travel agent and taking it from there. Check out the best destination wedding forum, too.
Post # 9
Hi! I am currently planning a destination wedding in cancun so maybe I can give some insight on your questions…
Sooo how do you go about choosing a place?
This was the hardest part! there are endless choices so they first have to find out what they want. we knew we wanted the location to be right in cancun’s hotel zone, be right on the beach, be all-inclusive resort, have a catholic chapel onsite, and be reasonable in terms of cost. This quickly narrowed down the number of resorts. If they are specifically looking for gay-friendly then maybe they can start there. Look at reviews from different resorts then inquire about wedding packages. Prices and inclusions will help make a decision.
Do you recommend working with a planner or travel agent?
Normally, the resort will assign them a wedding coordinator. Unless their budget permits, no need to get a separate planner as their package should include one. we worked with a local travel agent only because our guests asked us to. But it really is not necessary as everyone can just book through expedia, etc. However, travel agents can help take away some stress from the couple, as they can just refer all questions regarding travel and accommodations to the travel agent.
What kind of budget do ou think is necessary? I’ve heard destination weddings can cost the sme as regular weddings… My friend is thinking they’ll have 80 guests, that seems high to me considering the travel. Is it?
We invited about 200 guests and are only expecting around 60! It is common for destination weddings to have about 25-30% actual guests out of their total invites. Destination weddings are only inexpensive if you have a small number of guests (think 15-30!). A high number such as 80 will obviously make it more expensive. At the end of the day, I think we will spend about $20-22K on our cancun destination wedding for 60 people. But that literally includes EVERYTHING (dress/attire, wedding bands, invites/save the dates, vendors, gifts/favors, private wedding reception AND travel/accommodations for 10 nights for me and my fiancé, etc). A wedding at home with 200 guests would have probably been about $25K WITHOUT including a honeymoon, which we are getting out of a destination wedding.
Hope this helps!!!
Post # 10
Also, if your friends or anyone else is looking for a wedding photographer in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya, please consider Octavio Montes! After doing a ton of research on these types of forums and looking through photography vendors’ websites I found that he has the most reasonable prices for such beautiful and quality work. He even offers a 10% off discount, which is great because I feel like a lot of photographers take advantage of destination wedding couples with their ridiculous prices. He was very responsive and professional and accepts PayPal. You can find his work on http://www.OctavioMontes.com
Post # 11
I have just started to look at weddings in Mexico, Cancun in particular.
From what I have learned so far, it is a good idea to use a wedding planner or someone who is connected in the area. I found a company called Mexico Wedding Finders who I am speaking with. I found them on http://www.wedsaway.com which has a few suppliers in Mexico and some helpful advice.
A few other forums I have read also suggest looking at The Dominican Republic as an alternitive to Mexico but I haven’t found too much information on this yet.
Post # 12
Might be also helpful if you are also searching for a Cancun wedding photographer. I have found out a nice web of one photographer. She is constanntly living and working in Cancun. She had given me already a lot of useful tips on how to choose the best time for wedding photosession. Here is here webpage http://elena-fedorova.com/
Post # 13
We have having an intimate wedding at a luxury resort north of cancun. For us the most importNt thing was the quality if the resort. We selected Excellence Playa Mujures. We have so far not been disappointed. It is the number one rated all-inclusive hotel in the area and in the top ten world wide this year. It is also an adults only resort. This sets quite a nice tine for the wedding already. The second big dpfactor is what kind of wedding they want to have: civil, religious, or symbolic. All three options are good ones but knowing this will narrow down your choices. We are having a legal civil wedding. Next, you need to see if you like the vendors available at the hotel for music, photo/video, etc. if not, factor if if the hotel charges outside vendor fees to use someone else. We were unimpressed with the photographers and videographers at the hotel so found someone we love but are paying an additional 500uSD to the resort to allow them the joy of walking across the threshold that day. Lastly, to answer your question, yes 80 people is huge for a destination wedding at a resort. even all-inclusives charge per-head for a reception even when those guests are staying at the hotel. We got quotes from multiple resorts and finally went with our gut and booked based on reputation and luxury. If you want more specific info on any of this feel free to inbox me.
Post # 14
Hi if you getting married in Mexico you want to do may to June the best weather possible if you want more ideas check our website and send us and email http://www.grupogama.mx https://www.facebook.com/gamagroupcancun
Post # 15
My friend got engaged in cancun. I was the best man, gorgeous place. The photographer at the reception did a great job as well, so if you ever get the chance you can check out http://lifewondersphotography.com/